Roger Federer delighted his fellow Swiss by defeating Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-4 to advance to the final of the Basel tournament.
Chasing a 10th title in his hometown, the 38-year-old veteran will meet a 20-year-old opponent in the final on Sunday. It is the Australian Alex de Miñaur, who tamed the serve of the American Reilly Opelka by winning 7-6 (2), 6-7 (4), 7-6 (3).
“It’s what you have to do when you have home advantage,” said Federer, a 13-time indoor finalist in the tournament. “They enjoy when I play well and that motivates me to play better.”
Upon having to serve for the match, Federer lifted the only break ball he faced against the seventh in the world rankings.
Federer certified victory two points later with a volley as he approached the net, after Tsitsipas barely returned a first serve.
The Swiss will contest his sixth final on the ATP circuit this season, behind only nine of the Russian Daniil Medvedev.
Both finalists have three titles this season, although for De Miñaur they are the only three of his career. Federer will go for his 103rd title.
The victory left Federer 50-8 in 2019. It is his third year in a row with at least 50 wins after a 2016 that ended prematurely due to injuries.
Federer reached the semifinals without playing. Stan Wawrinka, his rival in the quarterfinals, had to retire before Friday’s game due to a back ailment. AP